David & Deborah Crone
The Power of Your Life Message - copyrighted material
I was a prenatal church attendee. My Mom and Dad rarely missed a service and seldom failed to take my sister and me along. I slept under more chairs and church pews than I can remember. Thankfully my parents lived what they believed, and we were part of quality churches led by wonderful men whose lives matched their ministries. It was an easy, but genuine, decision for me to give my life to Christ and follow after Him. At the age of seven, I made a public confession of my faith, though Christ had been a reality in my heart for a long time. My journey with God has been a life-long pursuit.
This adventure with God has shaped what I have become and continues to form what I am becoming. Along the way, there have been many significant road markers in the process of developing my life message, but none more important than the day I discovered a statement which put that message into words.
Deborah and I were spending a few days of rest in a quaint community in northern California. While there, we came across a shop that was selling clothing and decorative items from Scotland and Ireland. Having an interest in Celtic history and culture, we wandered in and looked around. A book of family crests and mottos lay on one of the counters. I began to leaf through it with moderate interest, until my gaze rested on the motto of the Buchan family from Scotland, and I was suddenly absolutely captivated and overwhelmed by what I read: “Non Inferiora Secutus – not having followed inferior things.”
I was ‘gob-smacked’, as one of my English friends puts it, speechless and astounded by the radical resolve of this Scottish clan, and by how it resonated in the deep places of my heart. Every part of my being was shaken by the impact of these words. My knees buckled and I was shaking so much, I had to lean against the counter to remain upright. I motioned for Deborah to come over to the counter, and after pointing out the book, I excused myself and went outside, hoping that some fresh air would help me get a grip on my emotions and control the physical manifestations. It didn’t help; I was in the grip of a God encounter and my being could not contain it. I ended up out on the sidewalk leaning against a lamp post like a drunken man. It took all of that day before I could reflect on those words without becoming emotionally and physically undone. Their impact resonates in me even now as I recall the story.
Shortly after this experience, I was reading the Book of Philippians in The Message Bible when I came across these words: “I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself….I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward ‑ to Jesus. I’m off and running and I’m not turning back” (Phil. 3:10, 13). I was convinced that “Non Inferiora Secutus” was God’s idea and a description of my life journey.
NIS, initials for the Latin phrase “Non Inferiora Secutus”, has become our family motto and our individual life quest. When I shared NIS with my family, we all agreed that this motto puts into words the way we desire to live our lives and what we want to leave as a legacy. NIS is not to us a casual slogan or cute expression. It is a commitment to a journey into all that is superior, that which exceeds the norm and requires exceptional faith and character. It is our way of saying we are seeking first the Kingdom of God, we are reaching for the goal of fulfilling the call of God on our lives, and we are not turning back.
Over the past several years, we have kept this message in front of our eyes to constantly remind us of the call and the commitment to hold ourselves and each other accountable to the message which we desire our lives to declare. We do this in a number of creative ways. My sons and I wear a ring bearing the NIS crest, and my daughters and Deborah have bracelets and necklaces that also carry the NIS insignia. Family businesses have it in their business name; we put it on our car license plates; and we use it in our email addresses. A plaque hangs in each of our homes that reads: “The wearers of these rings covenant together to never walk in inferior paths, choose inferior goals, or settle for inferior character. Each will aspire, with the help of God and each other, to reach for the greatest good in all things pertaining to faith and life”